Large, white, igloo-shaped building is dusted with snow.

Igloo City - Giant Igloo-Shaped Building

Field review by the editors.

Cantwell, Alaska

Every man has a dream. For Leon Smith it was to build a giant igloo in Alaska and open it as a motel.

Leon began in 1972 and hoped to be in business in July 1973. The building was to have 58 wedge-shaped rooms opening on a three-story atrium. The fourth floor was to be the private penthouse of Leon and his wife Lucille. Leon called the building -- 80 feet high and 105 feet wide -- "Igloo Lodge."

He finished the exterior -- plywood covered with snow-colored urethane insulation -- and then he stopped. No one really knows why. Leon's dreaming, however, didn't stop, and he held on to the empty Igloo for decades. Finally, in 1996, he sold it, cheap, to another dreamer. Three years later, Leon died. Six years after that, the second dreamer gave up, closed the gas station, and put the Igloo on the market, where it's been ever since.

Over the years people have forgotten the Igloo Lodge name and now call the building Igloo City. After 40+ years of Alaska weather, it's still standing, and still empty.

Igloo City - Giant Igloo-Shaped Building

George Parks Hwy, Cantwell, AK
On the east side of Hwy 3/George Parks Hwy at milepost 188.5.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

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